The City of Golden Shadow opens with trench warfare. Oh no, says I, no way I'm listening to another WWI trench..Show More » warfare book. I almost quit right there, but fortunately I hung in for a few more minutes and the narrative took a turn for the truly bizarre. This has to be one of the oddest opening sequences ever written. I knew right then that I was probably going to give it a pretty high rating.
The story takes place towards the end of this century (mostly?), shifting back and forth between RL and VR ( real life and virtual reality.) The main character is a female South African computer teacher, a sort of cyber detective. Her student/sidekick, a bushman, provides an interesting counterpoint to the high tech world they work in (literally!)
I like the book. Really. Still, I have to say it's awfully long.... And then there are the three remaining volumes staring me in the face. And be warned, if you make to the end of this one, you'll pretty much have to read the rest. Combined, the series adds up to Nearly 120 hours, so you won't like this book unless you REALLY like this kind of book.
As for the narration, I thought it was dead on. One thing to watch out for: within a chapter, there is absolutely no break as the scene shifts from one character/situation to another. At first I was a little frustrated, but then I decided that it was precisely the right approach to convey how very confused the characters were most of the time. (Is virtual reality just a fancy term for unreality?)
This book gets an extra star just for the sheer magnitude of intriguing strangeness. I was going to give it three because there were times when I felt like I was slogging through molasses and I wanted it to start clearing up some of the mysteries, but I kept going back to the delightful weirdness. I confess that I plan to take quite a long break before I start the next book in the series.
This story is very well written. The character development is extensive and the story is complex. That being said, there are a lot of characters and t..Show More »he author gives them all the same amount of attention to detail. You feel as if you know what that character is really like.....until suddenly you don't know them because the story makes a surprise turn. The story is multi-layered and jumps between characters and locations so this isn't a story you listen to while your attention is elsewhere. The way it jumps between the people and settings makes it very interesting but there have been times I've had to backtrack to figure out what was going on, but the book is worth it. I enjoy reading and listening to books that aren't simply linear from start to finish and this book is it. I just listened to book two again to prepare for book 3 and there were details I had missed the first time I heard it. Can't wait to start the next book-